While we’ve been using AI tools for more than a decade, they began flooding the digital market in 2022. Journalists need guidance on how to incorporate the tools into their workflow effectively and ethically.
University of Illinois-Chicago journalism senior lecturer Mike Reilley founded Journalist’s Toolbox.AI in June 2023 to help journalists navigate those rough waters. The site will be expanding in the coming months to feature more tools, training videos, newsletters, and helpful tips and tricks. Reilley also offers in-person training as well as over Zoom.
As newsrooms and resources shrink, this new site plays an important role in providing journalists, students, professors and people in many professions with reliable resources for reporting, editing, verifying and visualizing information for complex stories. Toolbox content has a Creative Commons license, and educators are encouraged to share Toolbox resources, videos, newsletters, etc. in class and in course materials.
Reilley is the founder of the Journalist’s Toolbox™, which he edited for more than 27 years. The project was defunded by the Society of Professional Journalists in May 2023, so he launched this new site with a focus on the future of journalism, not its past.
Reilley accepts submissions and suggestions for resources. He also shares links and tools on his @journtoolbox and @itsmikereilley Twitter accounts. You also can suggest a section or topic to include in the Toolbox, but you must submit at least 10 links to help get the page started. The Toolbox uses DeadLinkChecker.com to remove or repair broken links each month. But if you see a broken link, please let Reilley know.
The links and tools shared on Journalist’s Toolbox are not endorsements. We may recommend a tool that’s helpful for journalists, but we also share links to content about very sensitive issues. Some of the content may be offensive to some, but are often necessary for journalists to cover a complex story.
The Toolbox does not accept money or trade for posts, nor does it feature paid ads for tools on the site. Ads do appear on the Toolbox YouTube page and in its twice-monthly newsletter. Reilley retains the right to accept or reject links based solely on their value to journalists.
If an AI tool generates an ethical concern, Reilley will point that out in the description and/or link to information about the issue. Reilley uses many of the tools listed here for professional/personal use or in his classes. He also posts tools recommended by many professional journalists as well as those he vets from a submission form linked from the upper left corner of the site.
Note: Some of the section header images on this site were built using MidJourney and Adobe Firefly AI tools, including the image on this page.